Day 20

I woke up slowly as I heard other hikers pack up early. I was in no rush but I didn’t want to linger there any more than I had to. I ate my granola and was out of there by 10. As I walked the half mile back to the trail I saw Radagast walking up the road toward the hostel. He is an herbalist and grows medicinal mushrooms. He was looking for a shuttle to the gas station up the road and I told him there were people at the hostel that could take him.

Another hot day was upon us. In the 80s again. The trail was a rolling dirt path again with switch backs, a welcome break from the last 3 days. I passed through a big pasture with tall grass. I hated how I had to elbow my way through. Ticks were sure to landing on me left and right. I shook out my shirt after and checked as best I could for the parasites.

Then began the big climb of the day. I had to stop mid way to rest my feet and eat a snack. As I rested, I saw a tramily I had seen 3 days ago during my 20 miles slackpack in Pearisburg: TBD, Silver Lining, Django, and Willow. They were headed to Roanoke for a the night to beat the Memorial Day crowds. I was glad to see them again and I was met with a happy hello from them too. The trail continued with several small ups and downs until I finally descended into a parking lot. There was trail magic there with cold Gatorade, cookies, candy bars and fruit. I stopped a while to refuel and Bob popped out of the woods. We discussed plans for the night and decided to camp together at the shelter before McAfee’s Knob to get there in the morning. We hiked about two more miles and set up our tents on slanted rocky ground. Bob said, “when this the ground you have to set up your tent on you have to decided which way you want to roll.” I called Lucy for an update and went to bed early. I was feeling sore again in my feet and knees but I wasn’t completely exhausted. I think the low miles are helping. I was glad Bob agreed to camp with me.

Miles: 703.9 – 711.9 (8)

Total: 217.4